BRIDGEPORT — Friends of hit-and-run victim Carissa Hinz are throwing a fundraiser, hoping the prospect of reward money will motivate tipsters to come forward with information about the unsolved fatal wreck.
“We just want this thing to be over,” said Chris Del Sesto, 27, a close friend of Hinz who’s helping organize the event, scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Sunday at Polo Café and Catering, 3332 S. Morgan St.
Polo chef and owner "Dave Samber is being awesome. He’s providing with the space and with food. The fact that he’s doing this, and having staff there and helping us, he’s just been super accommodating,” Del Sesto said.
The fundraiser, titled “This World Is Ours” after a project Hinz created while in art school, will feature personal touches that meant something to Hinz, an aspiring artist. A blown-up version of her piece will grace the banquet hall's entrance.
Organizers will host a silent art auction featuring donated work from artists at the nearby Zhou B Art Center and other Bridgeport artists. Friends will host origami demonstrations, a few bands will play sets, DJs will spin music, and partygoers can clamor into a photo booth for candid pictures.
Local businesses are contributing gift cards, which will be bundled with gift baskets to be raffled off throughout the night.
They’ll also make a stack of board games available — Del Sesto said Hinz was a fan of board games and was always hoping to host a board game night with friends.
Hinz, 21, was a graphic design artist and barista who volunteered at Co-Prosperity Sphere, the gallery space at 3219 S. Morgan St.
She was helping clean up a community-focused party there about 11 p.m. June 14, when police said a speeding Maroon Hyundai Sonata headed south on Morgan struck Hinz and drove away. Hinz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Flyers posted along Morgan Street indicate the car was abandoned at 38th Street and Union Avenue and that someone in a black Mercedes sedan that pulled over to avoid the speeding Hyundai could be a key witness.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Chicago Police Major Accidents unit at 312-745-4521. Organizers of the fundraiser, meanwhile, also are asking anyone with information to call a special hotline at 773-234-8295 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Money collected at Sunday's fundraiser will be pooled for a cash reward that will be given to anyone coming forward with information leading to an arrest.